Signs of joy hang in the windows
of the house up the street,
and bounce like yellow light off the shiny sides of parked cars.
Farah soars and plummets on a flimsy swing
under twists of wire and grape vines,
and little boys’ sandals flip and flap and echo
off the dusty sidewalk.
An old man, whose bald head peeks
through holes of his white knit hat,
lets his prayer beads dangle from his hand.
Orange butterflies float over white buds about to burst.
Men press their heads to ornate rugs outside the vegetable stand
while I plod through the foam tubs of tomatoes and cucumbers.
Little Sundus, with big, shy eyes, waits with me
as the shopkeeper greets the angels on his shoulders.
I must remember these moments,
these signs of joy that point me toward home.
I must learn to gather them like precious figs into my plastic bag,
and string them like beads into my own prayer.